By Steve Morris
The Marvel solicitations for November have been released today, showing a number of interesting points. Faint spoilers below!
The biggest news from the solicitations, which you can find here, is that we now have a confirmed end-date for Brian Michael Bendis’ decade-long run with the Avengers, with both the original and ‘New’ Avengers titles due to conclude in November. The actual end for Avengers seems to be issue #33, drawn by Terry Dodson, as issue #34 is a jam issue — with many of Bendis’ former collaborators joining him for the very last issue.
Meanwhile, New Avengers will operate in much the same way – issue #33 is by Bendis’ long-time collaborator Michael Oeming, while artists like Mike Deodato Jr are leaping on the final issue, #34, for a second jam story. New Avengers actually seems like the more interesting of these two stories, simply because of the cover above — Jessica Jones lying dead? Brother Voodoo returning? A lot of plot threads are going to be wrapped up in this final storyline, it seems.
We also have a confirmation that Matt Fraction’s Defenders series is indeed ending with issue #12, promising deaths and rebirths and a revisit to just about every crazy concept Fraction’s managed to squeeze into that one book.
And, well, the fact the last story arc was called ‘Final Exam’ was perhaps a clue that Christos Gage’s Avengers Academy series would be concluding. And so it proves true, with issue #39 revealing itself to be the last issue before the series concludes. And here ends another incredibly long run – Christos Gage’s work for Marvel looks to be sadly wrapping up. He still has the co-written miniseries ‘First X-Men’, as well as an Astonishing X-Men Annual in November. But at the moment, we don’t have any sign of a new ongoing project for him. Unless he has a trick up his sleeve?
Wolverine and the X-Men seems to be taking the place of Avengers Academy as the main student title in the Marvel NOWniverse. The main story for the rest of the solicitations is the way that every X-Men book now seems dominated by Avengers. AvX is going to end in a rout for Marvel’s Merry Mutants, as the analogues for the unsupported minorities in society get crushed under the boot of Captain America and SHIELD. Avengers show up all over the place, here! The only signs of resistance look to come from Brian Wood’s Adjectiveless X-Men run, which seems to have been extended by Marvel. Everywhere else shows a uncompromising victory for the Avengers.
Marvel Now! will see 20 new titles roll out, and most of them are now visible. But some have yet to be announced, and it’s interesting to see which other books may end in December to make way for them. Secret Avengers and Uncanny X-Force are both notably reaching a conclusion of sorts, suggesting that either Rick Remender is planning to move on, the titles are cancelled, or a revamp is coming soon. Astonishing X-Men also seems to be concluding the current storyline, which may lead us somewhere interesting in December.
But in non-speculating-about-the-end news? Just look at this solicitation for Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man #698….
The end of Spider-Man’s world begins when Doctor Octopus discovers who Peter Parker really is…